Louisiana State Flower - Magnolia

Magnolias bring Southern charm to any Louisiana lawn.

Magnolias bring Southern charm to any Louisiana lawn.

The Southern magnolia is an evergreen flowering tree that produces large, fragrant white or cream-colored blossoms and large dark green leaves. The blossoms of the tree serve as the state flower of Louisiana and bloom throughout May and June, spreading their distinctive fragrance throughout the state.

History

The magnolia was declared the state flower of Louisiana in 1900. This native Southern tree is abundant throughout the state and the southeastern United States as a whole. A popular tree throughout the region, the Southern magnolia serves as both the state tree and flower of the neighboring state of Mississippi.

The Tree

The Southern magnolia is a large evergreen, growing to heights of 60 to 80 feet. Other varieties of magnolias range from the size of a large shrub to 30 feet in height, making them a better choice for a smaller lawn or garden. Magnolias are easy to grow and relatively free of pests. Once the flowers fade, the magnolia produces a cone-like fruit that attracts songbirds.

The Flower

Southern magnolia blossoms can measure as much as 8 to 12 inches across. The Southern magnolia produces a creamy-white flower, but other types of magnolias produce brighter pink or purple blossoms. While the tree flowers for several weeks, the individual blossoms begin to fade within just a few days. The flowers have a distinct, sweet fragrance.

Growing Magnolias

Magnolias grow best in porous, well-drained, acidic soil in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 10. The trees tolerate both full sun or partial shade. This sturdy tree will tolerate mild drought and may withstand wet soil. The branches of the magnolia are rather soft and may break or suffer significant damage if exposed to ice storms or harsh weather conditions.

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